Carcinoma of the larynx (throat cancer)

Throat | Oncology | Carcinoma of the larynx (throat cancer) (Disease)


Laryngeal cancer may also be called cancer of the larynx or laryngeal carcinoma and is cancer of the vocal cords, voice box called larynx, or other areas of the throat. Most laryngeal cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.

The symptoms of laryngeal cancer depend on the size and location of the tumor. Symptoms that can develop are: abnormal breathing sounds; cough; coughing up blood; difficulty swallowing; hoarseness that does not get better in 1 - 2 weeks; neck pain; sore throat that does not get better in 1 - 2 weeks, even with antibiotics; swelling or lumps in the neck; unintentional weight loss.

Causes and Risk factors

The cause of laryngeal cancer is not known. Smoking tobacco causes most laryngeal cancers. Also, people who are heavy drinkers are more likely to develop laryngeal cancer than people who dont drink alcohol. Smoking and drinking alcohol combined lead to an increased risk for throat cancers. People with a history of head and neck cancer are known to be at higher risk of developing a second cancer of the head, neck, or lung.

Most cancers of the throat develop in adults older than 50 and men are more likely than women to develop throat cancers.

There can accrue complications, such as: airway obstruction; disfigurement of the neck or face; loss of voice and speaking ability and spread of the cancer to other body areas called metastasis.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosis is made on the basis of a medical history, physical examination, and special investigations which may include a chest x-ray, Computer Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans, and tissue biopsy.

The goal of treatment is to completely remove the cancer and prevent it from spreading to other parts of the body. Treatment may involve surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy, alone or in combination. ...